Wednesday Weigh In

Forgot to mention this – we all get weighed on Wednesdays. But since I can’t stand up by myself on a scale, they wheeled me on in the chair, then later wheeled the empty chair and subtracted the difference – then converted from kilograms to pounds. Something may have gotten mixed up in the conversions, but if right, I weighed in at 237lbs, down from 254 the day I went to the hospital. Making my new total loss 73 lbs down since Jan. 2020.

On the other hand, it might be right. My appetite hasn’t been big and I’ve been eating very carefully, to increase protein and cut carbs. But I did figure out how to have fruit and greek yogurt for breakfast, which makes me feel more normal.

Wednesday Therapy Notes – 8/25/21

It’s 5:45 and I just got moved into bed after a whole day in the wheelchair. That was not my plan and it was not a good idea. I’m super tired so this will be short.

Realized this morning that my OT is no longer starting with me in the morning at 7am. She is going to a newer patient first, who needs more time to get ready. I’m still very slow getting dressed but I know how to do it – use the Reacher tool to position new panties and then pants one leg at a time and get them pulled up as much as I can while seated. Then use the sock tool inside the clean sock, splay the opening, and position it on the floor so my foot actually goes inside (stupid little toes tend to cause trouble here), then pull up. I still need my OT to get my shoes on and fastened. They have inserted AFO devices that look like giant shoe horns that go up to my calf and down to the ball of the foot. The part around the calf gets fastened with velcro but shoving the whole thing inside the shoe is still pretty clunky. Tomorrow we are going to try taking out the insole to make more room. We’re thinking it will help.

I have a breakfast buddy with another patient who also had major back surgery and can’t walk much at all. Most of the patients are quiet and hurting, trying to figure out what is happening to their bodies and what it will mean when they can leave. I feel a little like the 4th floor Rehab Cheerleader, and pay attention to the progress that others are making – because if I can see theirs, I know I am making some myself that maybe I can’t see yet. Telling someone you noticed they walked further today, or didn’t have to rest as much doing arm work, or transferred more easily, only takes a minute and means a lot.

Today in PT I walked 23 steps using the walker, and we also practiced what Veronica calls “Get Up and Go” to go from the chair over 6-7 steps to another surface, turn, and sit down – and then go back. This is the stuff you do in your house. You go from your bed to the bathroom. From a chair to the dining table. From the couch to the kitchen. Short trips. It will take me a while to feel confident with this, but I’m doing it anyway.

On the other hand, I failed miserably at the idea of getting a shower. It was psychological. I hadn’t really thought through how I’d get into the shower to use the chair and grab bars there, and a lot of this stuff is mental. We’re going to review it tomorrow and practice fully closed so I’m not also worried about how I will get undressed then dressed again. I can wash using the basin in the meantime. It’s been working so far.

In my OT time when I wasn’t balking at a shower, I kept working on the arm bike, using cousin Barb’s advise to sing hymns to keep it from being so boring. I went through a bunch of Christmas carols today doing that, and it did help. I also worked with a weighted ball on a bunch of different arm exercises that will probably leave me sore tomorrow. Should be fun.